Ohio boaters, paddlers and anglers urged to avoid high water

COLUMBUS, OH – After the steady rain Ohio has experienced during the past two weeks, Ohioans and visitors are reminded to avoid high, fast-moving water in rivers and streams, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
“With the increased amount of rain, extra precautions are needed to ensure that the strength and speed of a river does not exceed people’s skill capabilities or that of their equipment,” said ODNR Director Jim Zehringer. “Always remember to a wear life jacket while boating. It’s a simple decision that can save lives.”
While most of Ohio is expected to enjoy beautiful weather this weekend, many rivers and streams could still be near or at flood stage. These conditions pose hazards for boaters, paddlers and anglers.
High and fast stream currents, downed trees that act as “strainers,” undercut and eroded banks, debris and other underwater obstacles can be dangerous to people walking, wading or boating in or near a waterway. ODNR recommends “scouting” a stream before launching a boat or wading in an unfamiliar area. Boaters are urged to file a float plan with a responsible person. Capsizing or falling unexpectedly into high, fast water can be life-threatening.
ODNR further advises Ohioans and visitors to properly wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket while boating and when wading and fishing in rivers or streams.
Additional safety tips on boating and fishing can be found at ohiodnr.gov.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.
Media Note: Media can download comments from ODNR Director Zehringer’s safety message and b-roll from the Division of the State Fire Marshal and ODNR Division of Watercraft officers conducting Swift Water Rescue Training earlier this year at this Web address: ftp://ftp.dnr.state.oh.us/Marketing/Uploads/Floods. The files must be downloaded to be viewed and are available in both high and low resolution.
For more information, contact:
Eric Reed, ODNR Division of Watercraft
For information on Swift Water Rescue Training efforts and programs, contact:
Michael Duchesne, Division of State Fire Marshal

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